During a Milford School District Board Meeting, held on Monday, October 28, the Milford School Board voted on a motion amend the name of the Milford Senior High School, adding the title Justice Randy J. Holland Campus. The motion was made by Board Member Patrick Emory, seconded by member Hunter Emory and passed unanimously by the School Board of Education.
The request to modify the name was brought in front of the Board on Monday night by longtime friends of Randy Holland, State Representative Harvey Kenton and Thomas Draper, President of Draper Holding, a company that owns WBOC 16 and Fox 21. The pair discussed the success of Justice Holland and what the name would mean added to the Milford Senior High School campus.
“Randy Holland is probably the most recognized, well known judge in the state of Delaware and around the country,” stated Representative Kenton. “I think the name of the Milford High School campus will send a message to young people at Milford High School that they are receiving an education from a great institution and that they have the chance to work their way up to whatever they desire to do.” At the school board meeting Kenton spoke about how Randy, from a blue-collared family, used his education to work his way up to a prominent individual in the state of Delaware, around the country and internationally.
Randy J. Holland is the youngest person to serve on the Delaware Supreme Court, as he was recommended to the Governor by a bipartisan merit selection committee. Prior to his appointment and confirmation in 1986, Justice Holland was a partner at the private practice firm Morris, Nichols, Arsht & Tunnell. In March 2011, he was reappointed by Governor Markell and unanimously confirmed by the Senate for an unprecedented third twelve-year term.
Upon graduating form Milford High School, Justice Holland graduated from Swarthmore College. He also graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, cum laude, where he received the Loughlin Award for legal ethics. Justice Holland received a Master of Laws in the Judicial Process from the University of Virginia Law School. Justice Holland has received numerous awards including the 1992 Judge of the Year Award from the National Child Support Enforcement Association and the 2011 Dwight D. Opperman Award for Judicial Excellence. Chief Justices Rehnquist and Roberts appointed Justice Holland as the state judge member of the Federal Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Appellate Rules. His current term as a Justice of the Supreme Court of Delaware ends March 27, 2023.
As the news of the amendment to the name of Milford High School began to reach individuals online, there were mixed emotions on the subject including many Milford individuals concerned about the lack of information given to the public before the decision was made and the possible costs of what this may mean for the school district. Milford alumni and resident Momoffour Marney created an online petition against the decision titled Milford Community and Alumni against the change of the MHS name. Within a twenty-four hour period over 700 members had joined the online petition.
“With all due respect to Justice Holland this is an unwarranted change that may have been well received by the community if we had the privilege to know about its recommendation,” stated Mrs. Marney in an official statement to Milford LIVE.com. “I am not opposed to giving credit where credit is due, but not at the cost of preserving our history as a community. What the school board needs to realize is that we as a community do have a voice and are not afraid to use it.”
On Thursday, October 31 Superintendent Phyllis Kohel released a statement to Milford LIVE.com that the decision of amending the name of the Milford High School to include the Justice Randy J. Holland Campus would be discussed at a special meeting of the Milford School Board, which will be open to the public, on Tuesday, November 12.
“The Milford School Board, after listening to the outcry of the Milford community, has decided to hold a special Board meeting on Tuesday, November 12 to allow the community to provide input,” stated Kohel. “The Board of Education will rescind their vote at that time and decide the matter of the name of the Milford High School at a later date.”
Addressing the subject of any additional funds required to amend the name of MHS to include the Justice Randy J. Holland Campus, Superintendent Kohel stated that part of the original decision to amend the name included that there be no costs to the Milford School District. Kohel stated that no letterhead or official documents were to be changed due to this decision and that the only perceivable change she saw was an addition of the new name added to the outside of the building under the current name of Milford Senior High School.
According to Harvey Kenton, after the new campus name was voted on by the Board of Education, Thomas Draper and himself were in the process of putting together a cost analysis of the project and finding private funds to support any cost associated with placing Justice Holland’s name on the Milford High School building. Holland himself was unaware of any dedication to add his name to Milford High School until after the decision by the Board of Education on Monday, October 28.